The pianist Fred Hersch
grew up with the music of Beethoven and Mozart, but was much more attracted by the world of jazz. 'I really liked hanging around in jazz clubs, also because of the social context. The moment I had discovered jazz, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard.' Hersch (1955) became sought after in New York and attended all kinds of sessions. Over the years he has recorded over twenty CDs and an equal number in tandem with legends like Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and Art Farmer. For him, his trilogy Songs without Words
of 2001 was a true tour de force. 'The greatest challenge for me as a pianist was to have enough energy to give each piece a life of its own.' His most recent album, Live at Jazz Standard
, demonstrates this same ambition. Although Fred Hersch can be mesmerizing as a soloist, he will be present on the North Sea Jazz stage with a quintet.